Texas leads the US in wind power — and now it’s ramping up solar, too
Texas likes to do things big. The Lone Star State leads the US with the most energy generated by wind power, and now it’s ramping up solar, which is projected to be the fastest-growing contributor to the state’s power grid in the next three years.
Solar currently provides just 2.2% of energy to the Texas power grid. But according to the stategrid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), solar developers are expected to add 3.5GW of capacity from new utility-scale solar projects this year and 5.5GW in 2021 (via the Houston Chronicle). One gigawatt can power around 700,000 homes.
That includes projects that have signed interconnection agreements with ERCOT, which means they have a high likelihood of completion. ERCOT represents 90% of the state’s electric load.
Most of the planned solar projects are expected to come online before summer 2021.
According to the US Energy Information Administration about Texas’ renewable energy:
The state provided almost one-fifth of the total US utility-scale electricity generation from all non-hydroelectric renewable sources in 2018, more than any other state.
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Texas leads the nation in wind-powered electricity generation, producing more than one-fourth of the US total in 2018.
The EIA also says that the sun power in western Texas gives the state some of the largest solar power potential in the nation, so it makes sense that it’s starting to utilize that potential. For example, a large solar farm was installed in late January in Andrews County in western Texas.